marți, 6 septembrie 2011

River Out of Eden

I’m always interested in how things are created and how they strive to survive. The idea behind this book is to explain how life generates itself and how certain environmental forces pressure all organisms into finding ways to survive. Reading it was like taking into account that all the information that makes us who we are, is sealed in tiny part of our every cell. All humans, animals, plants evolved from this eukaryotic cell which set itself on a path to replicate itself and every successive mutation that has given it an edge over other cells has brought us here. I hope to make myself clear… or at least I try.

I understood the analogy between a river and the river of DNA which all organism posses. I found the examples in the book to be convincing, maybe because I’m well accustomed with Dawkins writings and with the Natural Selection Theory/ Darwinism. I liked it and it gave me once more a clear understanding of our motivations and aspirations in life. Because we are living creatures we must accomplish many tasks to survive and what is important for that survival is mediated, at least, by the environment in which we live, although the forces of the social environment sometimes work in pushing ourselves into wanting more and achieving more than our mere survival. Our own individual survival might seem of great importance to us, and for me certainly is, to think that we are here only in order for the genes to pass on to the next generation might seem cruel, but in light of the evidence presented seems more real that believing a fairytale heaven awaits you at the end of your life journey. (I don’t want to be misunderstood here. I think being aware and respectful towards other people is crucial for our better existence and it gives us a sense of belonging and caring that no other promise might give us- I’m thinking of the promise of heaven if we’re good.)

The more I think that I am here as a creature that can pass information received from parents, the more I find myself involved in my family’s life, my community and the world. This idea has given me the huge responsibility of being aware of myself and the messages that I transmit in a conscious way. Maybe I’m giving myself too much credit, after all, the genes might be passed on, and only if I can fundamentally make a difference maybe I can pass a meme. It seems so grandiose but in the end it’s just my brain trying to put a meaning to all the information that reaches me.